The Basic Rules of Cricket

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, but the basic rules of cricket can seem complicated to those unfamiliar with it. In fact, cricket's rules are not as difficult to understand as they may seem at first. Learning what they are can make watching a cricket match much more enjoyable. Here are some of the basic rules of cricket.

Players
There are 11 players on each team during a cricket match. Teams generally have specialized batsmen and bowlers, who are similar to pitchers in baseball. Almost every team has a specialized wicket-keeper.

Match Set-Up
Cricket matches may be either a One Day match or a Test Match. One Day matches consist of one inning for each team. An inning will last until ten of the eleven players on the team get out or until the team goes through the full 50 overs. An over is a set of six balls to a batter. Once the first team has gone through their 50 overs, the other team has its chance to score more runs.

Within each team's inning, a player's period of scoring runs is called an inning. Each player's inning is combined to make up the team's inning.

A Test match is similar to One Day but it is played over the course of five days. Test cricket is what most big and international cricket matches are. Each team gets two innings each to score their runs. The teams alternate innings. At the end of the innings, the team with the most runs wins.

A cricket match is finished when one team scores more runs than the other team or if a team gets the other team's batsmen out before they accumulate more runs.

Scoring
Scoring in cricket can happen one of several ways:

  • The 2 batsmen run to opposite ends of the pitch; this counts as one run. They can continue running back and forth until the fielder fields the ball and throws it back to the wicket-keeper (which is like the catcher in baseball).
  • The batsman hits the ball along the ground and it crosses the boundary, which is the edge of the cricket playing field. This scores four runs.
  • The batsman hits the ball in the air over the boundary. This scores six runs.
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